The CDC’s new boss will continue to make recommendations based on politics, not science, Dr. Kory writes in new Op-ed for Fox News.

After two years leading the CDC’s disastrous response to COVID, Rochelle Walensky is finally heading for the exit. Unfortunately her replacement, Mandy Cohen, is unlikely to change tack. Cohen ran North Carolina’s Department of Health and Human Services during COVID and faithfully followed every political cue the Biden Administration gave. She even wore a mask with Fauci’s face on it.

But hope springs eternal at the FLCCC. Writing in FoxNews, Dr. Kory appeals to Cohen’s better angels and lays out three commitments she can make to restore the CDC’s credibility:

First, submit to a full congressional investigation of pandemic decision-making. Since the 118th Congress took power in January, the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability has made great strides shedding light on fraud and waste in federal pandemic spending. Even as the recent compromise on the debt ceiling clawed back $27 billion in COVID-era federal funding to federal agencies, the committee’s oversight work must continue into other arenas.

From confusing medical guidance to misrepresenting data to embarrassing communication errors (remember the suggestion to play basketball online with friends?), the CDC’s failings during the pandemic are well-documented. These actions have damaged the once sterling reputation of the agency. Cohen should commit to safeguards that ensure they can never be repeated.

Second, Cohen should decry the politicization of agency recommendations. Many of my fellow Democrats were quick to accuse the CDC director under President Trump, Dr. Robert Redfield, for allowing politics to influence mitigation measures. They were correct then, and it’s a principle that must be fought for, regardless of which party is in the White House.

To operate effectively, the CDC must follow the data – not political whims. A good place to start is allowing an independent review of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR), the CDC’s in-house think tank. During the pandemic, MMWR cherry-picked data about masks and vaccines to make the case for their effectiveness. Three years later, a powerful combination of academic studies, data and common sense indicate that promises about masks and vaccines were oversold and underdelivered.

The CDC’s vaccine injury monitoring efforts must be strengthened and made more transparent, too. The agency effectively ignored data about vaccine-related injuries that people and health care providers reported through its Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) and v-safe. A Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request revealed that 7.7% of people receiving the experimental COVID vaccine reported requiring medical care – an astonishing statistic of which few are fully aware.

Finally, Cohen must demonstrate a commitment to medical freedom. It’s easy to look back and marvel at bad decisions made during the fog of COVID. But at the time, those who raised concerns were treated as pariahs and shunned from society. California even tried to deny doctors their livelihood for spreading “misinformation.”

The role of CDC is not to police and shame people who don’t follow agency recommendations. It’s to give people practical guideposts for health care concerns based on comprehensive and transparent scientific data, and then trust them to make decisions for themselves. The one-size-fits-all approach simply does not work.

The role of CDC is not to police and shame people who don’t follow agency recommendations. It’s to give people practical guideposts for health care concerns based on comprehensive and transparent scientific data, and then trust them to make decisions for themselves. The one-size-fits-all approach simply does not work.

We’re unlikely to see any meaningful changes at CDC under the current Administration. But Congress can pursue these aims and keep the heat on as Cohen takes the helm. You can read Dr. Kory’s op-ed here.